"I’m encouraged to see the inclusion of an expungement provision, a micro-business and delivery license type, an equity applicant, and a sizable portion of the revenue directed towards equity and communities of color. The governor’s proposal keeps me optimistic that consensus on this complex issue can be reached this year," said DeVaughn Ward, MPP's senior legislative counsel.
"Legalizing and regulating cannabis in West Virginia would create new jobs and business opportunities, produce substantial tax revenue, and make the state a more attractive place for young people to live and work. Replacing prohibition with effective regulation would also protect consumers and allow police to focus their limited resources on serious crimes," said Matt Simon, MPP's senior legislative analyst.
"I think the overarching theme In the recommendations is the governor’s proposal needs to have strong equity provisions on the licensing side and on the back end, specifically a significant portion of the revenue going to communities hard hit by the war on drugs," said DeVaughn Ward, MPP's senior legislative counsel.
"We tend to think that if a government wants to raise money on cannabis it should be adult use (recreational) sales not medical sales that are taxed for revenue purpose. It’s already people who are facing serious illnesses and financial shortfalls," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Patients in West Virginia have been waiting a long time for safe, legal access to medical cannabis. It has been nearly four years since Gov. Justice signed the medical cannabis bill into law, and there's no reason the rollout should have taken this long. Other states have been able to implement similar programs in a fraction of the time it has taken West Virginia. Still, the fact that dispensaries have finally been licensed and patients are finally able to register for the program is an important step forward," said Matt Simon, MPP's senior legislative analyst.
"It is morally wrong to continue to treat Alabamans who suffer from serious medical conditions as criminals for using a substance that is now legal in 36 states. However, we urge lawmakers to revise the provisions of the bill that create significant barriers for patients and their physicians," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.